Stupidest headline ever?

Biretta tip to Amy  o{]:¬)   who alerted us to the story in the Times which purports to deal with the Church’s continual exploration of the theological opinion commonly called Limbo.  Ask yourself if this isn’t one of the stupidest headlines, and premises, you will ever read about something Catholic:

Pope tries to win hearts and minds by saving souls of unbaptised babies
By Ruth Gledhill and Richard Owen

THE Pope will cast aside centuries of Catholic belief later this week by abolishing formally the concept of limbo, in a gesture calculated to help to win the souls of millions of babies in the developing world for Christ. …

Okay.  Anyone else have a suggestion as to why Pope Benedict XVI would get into such a question?

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  1. Wild Guess: Ecumenical Muslim olive branch?

  2. Séamas says:

    I have no idea, but I doubt the Church will
    formally abolish the concept of Limbo. In
    order to do that, she would have to say that
    unbaptized infants are in hell, or in heaven.

    I don’t think she would want to say either. I
    don’t think she can say either.

    To say they are in hell would bum people out,
    to say they are in heaven would effectively do
    away with infant baptism (Catholics these days
    are indifferent enough).

    Besides, the Church simply doesn’t know
    what happens to unbaptised infants, and I doubt
    the theological commission is going to finally
    solve the problem. Any Aquinases or Augustines
    on this commission?

    What do you think, father? Will I have to abandon
    my belief in limbus infantum?

  3. Maureen says:

    Because he has a very tidy mind, and the idea offends his sense of neatness?

    Because he witnessed some tragedy involving this teaching? (Parents who were heartbroken at the idea of being separated from their children for all eternity? University students get in lots of trouble….)

    Most likely, though, he’s worried about the eternal fate of all these millions and billions of aborted babies.

  4. Joshua says:

    The article not only errs by making this look like a stratergic move, it also mixes up the idea of the limbo of the fathers (a dogma) with limbo of the infants (one of two real possibilities for those who die in original sin, not a dogma)

    Now don’t we know that it is dogma those who die in moral sin or original sin only descend directly to hell, but to different punishments and places (council of Florence). So that the Church in effect says that is a person dies in original sin, yes he goes to hell, but to a different place and punishment. This would suggest limbo (the “hem of hell”). At best you get Aquinas’ view that they have some natural bliss at worst a harsh interpreation of Augustine (that they suffer least of all).

    Then we also know only one means to remove original sin, baptism (as the CCC states). But we know God is not restricted to this, so that in the case of Baby Doe He can give her baptismal graces in extraordinary fashion (whether by giving her the use of reason and grace to have perfect charity, or through some other means). So that anyone who loses an infant need not presume they went to hell (limbo or otherwise). But at the same time one couldn’t presume such an extra-odinary act. At best the infant would be saved in an extraordinary fashion, but if it were possible to have baptised her and because of a presumption that God would save her outside of water baptism this act was neglected, the person responsible for having her baptised would be punished I think. That is, I think the ultimate answer is to say that God can save an infant without water baptism, but that is outside of the order He wants and if you are the one that, to speak loosely, “forced Him” to act outside that order then you better have some good answers on judgment day.

    I think it is also important to realise that limbo is hell, insofar as Hell is being apart from God, in the same way the limbo of the father was (limbo means hem) but that the doctrine of limbo has a further claim that they are there without pain. It is really then a merciful thing, if it exists. And I think it is what you would say would have to exist if God would ever permit someone to die in only original sin (and certainly it would be wholly just if He did…just as it would be wholly just for Him to not save anyone)

  5. It’s just an excuse for a media outlet to try and make it look like the Church has changed Her position on something. Most people think that every teaching is dogmatic, so for any type of change it means something “dogmatic” was changed. (I’m suprised that people think we are that rigid.)

  6. Marc says:

    You are right about that ridiculous headline! Am ‘boycotting’ the BBC for a week because of the Panorama nonsense: but the fact is, in my experience, the Times, the Telegraph, the Guardian, the Independent, a l l screw up Catholic and particularly Rome stuff almost a l l the time and as often as not it looks like simple ignorance as much as prejudice, although it can be hard to tell.

    But otherwise I’m sayin’ nothin’ till I see a text: have given up the notion that journalists bother with actually investigating and using their common sense etc. (Perhaps not the writers’ responsibility for that headline, though.)

    And isn’t it a question of an International Theological Commission text upcoming, anyway? Which are often insightful or more than that: but it still serves an advisory function, the ITC. The fact that the Pontiff approves the publication of their texts doesn’t mean he is necessarily endorsing all the contents, arguments etc in them.

  7. Geoffrey says:

    Isn’t the Limbo of Infants a theological hypothesis? I thought that it was never “official” doctrine?

  8. NAB says:

    I was at Amy’s–but I stopped over here for today’s Rosary Mystery. Just wanted to say–that’s the best accompanying pic EVER!!

  9. Jordan Potter says:

    So where’s the proof that the Pope this week will formally declare that limbus infantium is a false doctrine? Since when does a discussion going on in a non-magisterial advisory commission constitute a formal declaration of the Pope?


  10. Besides my Muslim olive branch guess, could it also be because Ms. Magazine
    is releasing names of women who had abortions in this months issue? These
    women are proud of it. In any case, murder is all around us.

    I asked an expert that Father knows well, Father Altier, about limbo
    and unbaptized infants. Father A says it is a theological theory, it’s not
    official church teaching. At this point, you are free to believe in limbo
    for unbaptized infants or not. Father A believes the unbaptized infant goes
    to heaven because God will not hold them accountable. We are only held
    accountable for sins that we knowingly commmited. In other words, it’s not
    the babies fault they died without baptism or they were aborted or miscarried.

    I like Father A’s opinion.

  11. So what does Fr. Altier think about the effects of Original Sin and the need for baptism? >S<

  12. Father: I’m smart enough to know a potential liturgical trap when I see it.

  13. It’s Friday, 9:30pm in Rome, my agents have searched through the Vatican garbage and did not find Limbo yet. They must still be inside torturing it before they hang it. LOL.
    My question is: Is Pope Benedict into this question? And why even waste time with a theological commission on this? Is the next commission to decide how many Angels really can dance on the head of a pin?
    Actually, theologically speaking, without denying the necessity of Baptism, in the case of abortion or miscarriages, could this be a case of “Ecclesia supplex?” Would it besimilar to the fact that the Church celebrates the “Holy Innocents” in terms of a willed martyrdom?
    Just throwing out some speculative ideas.

  14. Oops, guess I meant “unwilled martyrdom.”

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